Tori’s Mini Reviews
The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
Historical Mystery Suspense
May 9, 2017
I’ve always been a fan of Amanda Quick and her alter egos (Jayne ann Krentz and Jayne Castle) no matter what century we are in or what planet we’re on. This particular one caught my eye because it is set in the roaring 20s and hints at a diabolical and suspenseful mystery involving murder, lies, and revenge. The story opens with a murder when a young secretary, Anna, discovers her murdered employer’s body and flees cross-country with a suitcase full of money and a mysterious notebook. A few months later, the story reopens to another murder with Anna aka Irene as a hack gossip reporter discovering yet another body. Only this time it’s at a posh resort and it looks like the two murders may be connected. Exciting, yes?
No. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t back up the premise. I made it to 30% before I simply was unable to continue; I was bored. The story has no flavor or energy and the characters show almost no emotion. They are like robots, doing and saying the right things but with no life to them. The story has a choppy flow and the dialogue comes across stiff and wooden. No descriptors to help set up the world or amp up our suspense, intrigue, and anticipation. Quite disappointing overall all considering what I know Ms. Quick capable of.
The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda
April 11, 2017
Simon and Schuster
Leah Stevens is a disgraced journalist who decides to move to PA with an old friend when things get too hot for her in MA. Creating a new life, she becomes the suspect in a rash of murders when her best friend disappears and no information can be found on her. Leah’s investigation to prove her innocence forces her to confront her own secrets and the stranger within her.
This story starts out strong with a nice introduction and background set up on the protagonist. I read something similar to this premise years ago and loved it. The suspense and intrigue were intense. In here, we start off on a good foot. The pace is brisk and the narrative strong. Miranda is obviously not a victim of the sophomoric slump. As the story progresses though, it becomes extremely verbose and begins to falter as it loses its focus. Multiple plotlines build up leaving this read a little confused as to what exactly is happening, It doesn’t help that I had a very hard time connecting to the protagonist. Leah is not a likable person and she is an unreliable narrator which made it hard for me to move forward with the story. I found myself growing increasingly irritated with Leah and the story and not longer enjoying. Once I hit a certain scene, I knew this book was no longer for me and decided to cut my losses. Perhaps in the future, I will try again but for now, it’s better we go our separate ways.
The Demon Prince by Ann Aguirre
Series: Ara Numina, #2
March 23, 2017
We met our hero, the genetically ill Alastor Vega, book one, He, along with various other leaders, all met in Ash Valley to broker a peace treaty. The treaty was broken by Vega’s power hungry brother and now a reluctant and Alastair must muster forces and the strength to defeat his brother before he destroys them all. He receives some help from Dr. Sheyla Halek, a physician and feline shifter who follows him into battle to ensure he stay alive. As allies and enemies turn and battles rage Alaster and Sheyla grow closer and eventually succumb to the blazing hot chemistry that burns between them. Their relationship is doomed from the start unless they are willing to fight for what they want and need-each other.
I thoroughly enjoyed book one of this series-The Leopard King. A paranormal romance with a strong fantasy base, Aguirre introduced us to a world of shifters, politics, and magic. I was pleased to see the world building was increased and we learn more about the various races and their history. Flowing informative narrative, strong and concise plotlines, well-developed characters, witty dialogue and some surprising racy sex scenes. Seems our couple likes some kink in their connection. *wiggles eyebrows* Alaster and Shelya fit well together and Aguirre moves their romance at a comfortable speed with very little conflict. Action packed with pinches of suspense and intrigue, I am looking forward to book three-The Wolf Lord-blurb and release date to be announced.
Mandi’s Mini Reviews:
Back Piece by L.A. Witt
Released: April 25, 2017
Colin is a tattoo artist who is battling issues with binging food and then working out way, way too much. He meets shy and quiet Daniel, who is in the Navy and is interested in getting a tattoo. Daniel grew up in a very conservative household and could never come out to his parents. They both like each other and a very sweet romance develops. It was a little too sweet for me – or maybe I just needed more to happen in the story. We get a lot of details regarding the tattoo process, which is fun to a point and then I got a little bored. Like I said, sweet but slow.
My DNF’s for the month:
Sex in the Sticks by Sawyer Bennett – could not stand the heroine. She felt judgy and snobby. DNF’d at 15% so I didn’t give her too much of a chance but I didn’t like her enough to want to get to know her.
Wife for a While by Lorna Baldwin – didn’t like the hero in this one. He cruelly made fun of a woman he had a one night stand with (not the heroine) and I just didn’t want a hero who treated women like that. He also judged those with less money so much. Maybe he is redeemed by the end but his initial attitude turned me off too much.
Marry in Haste by Annie Grace – I DNF’d this one at 45%. I was excited to see it was a marriage of convenience, but by the halfway mark, there was no marriage yet and the hero and heroine had barely had any page time together. The emphasis was all on the hero’s half-siblings.